How D.J. Reed decided to enter the NFL Draft

[PHOENIX, ARIZONA] Kansas State University plays University of California, Los Angeles, in the 2017 Cactus Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix Arizona on December 26th, 2017. (Photo by Cooper Kinley | Kansas State Athletics / Collegian Media Group)

Former Kansas State defensive back D.J. Reed announced on Twitter Monday he will forgo his senior year and enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

Reed said he felt it was the right thing to do so that he could help out his immediate family.

“My mom, she’s been working for 35 years; I just felt like it’s time to take care of her and help carry a burden off of her financially,” Reed said. “I had the opportunity to do that.”

The All-American defensive back and kick returner certainly does have that opportunity. He said his agent, Tommy Sims of VaynerSports, has him graded out in the third through sixth rounds.

Ultimately, Reed said no one really knows when anyone will be drafted until draft day, and he will just have to take advantage of whatever opportunities he gets to show off his talents, including pro days and maybe the NFL Combine.

“I feel like my film speaks for itself, and we’re going to have to see where everything lands,” Reed said.

Of course, at only 5 feet 9 inches tall, Reed will face criticism of his size. When asked about his size, he first pointed to a measurable like his vertical jump.

“Then I am going to pull up the film and just say, ‘I played in the Big 12 with the most electrifying receivers in the nation, and I was able to hold my own and lock down,’” Reed said. “Every receiver I went against, basically, was over 6 [feet] 3 [inches tall.]”

Reed said his lack of size doesn’t matter once he gets on the field.

“When you play on the field, if you compete, you are athletic and have talent, you can play with anybody; it does not matter your size,” Reed said.

When it comes to preparing for his pro days, Reed said he plans to work out with the same trainer he has trained with since his time at Cerritos College: STARS Performance Training in Anaheim, California.

Players entering the draft often have teams in mind that they would like to play for and certain teams that they would like to avoid. Reed said that is not the case for him.

“I don’t have a team in particular,” Reed said. “I would like to stay on the West Coast just to be close to family … but whoever drafts me is going to be a blessing.”

Reed echoed his head coach, Bill Snyder, when talking about his favorite thing about being a student athlete at K-State.

“The people at K-State, everybody was really cool with each other,” Reed said. “[At lunch] I did not just eat with football players; I would sit with some of the track players or the baseball players. It was very diverse. I’ve been at two other schools and it wasn’t like that.”

When Reed told Snyder, he said Snyder was very supportive of his decision.

“[Snyder] told me he would love for me to stay another year and that would probably benefit me,” Reed said. “But then he said, ‘Whatever you do D.J., I am going to be with you, and I am going to support you.'”

Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, an alumnus from Olathe, Kansas. I graduated in spring 2022 with a Masters in Mass Communication, and I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. I covered K-State sports for the Collegian for four years.